Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - On Tuesday!!!!

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Look at me posting a Tuesday post on Tuesday!!  Maybe it's this glorious weather we are having.  The nice thing is that it's expected to last a week.  The highways are probably going to be icy at times (YUK!!!),  but it's going to be nice to wear a lighter spring jacket instead of a heavy parka.

This past week, I started two new projects.

The first project is the latest one from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month. I showed the project package last week and figured I might as well start. Because it's made with chunky yarn, it knit up quite quickly. It's essentially stocking stitch, so it's curling up quite a bit and definitely needs to be blocked.  I'll show the whole scarf once that is done, but for now here's a close up of the patterning:



Cool, eh?  I like the effect.  The best part is that there are very few ends to weave in.  Yay!!! I also started the matching hat, but I'm pretty sure there's a mistake in the pattern. Either that or I did something wrong. I noticed that something was amiss basically from the start, but continued to knit anyway. I'll have to rip back about an hour's worth of work before trying to figure out what happened. If it's a pattern mistake, I hope MM will send out a correction (they did this once before). I could try phoning them, but last time I couldn't reach the person I needed to talk to. It's probably best if I just try to figure it out on my own. It shouldn't be too bad, but it's definitely annoying.

The other new project I started is a summer scarf. The pattern is Tier from Shibui Yarns. It's rather plain with just a few sections of dropped stitches, but that's sort of why I like it.  I really like the yarn I'm using (Twig (colour Mineral 2022, also from Shibui), but it's more rough than soft.  It's made from a combination of linen, recycled silk, and wool. Here's what I have so far:



It's a super easy pattern and I've only just started. However, getting the tension correct after dropping a number of yarnovers (yo) was a bit of a challenge. It, too, is in stocking stitch and will need to be blocked. I have a couple of other projects from Shibui lined up. Look for those in futures posts.

This coming week, I'll work on the summer scarf for a bit then I'm going to figure out the problem I'm having with the hat (see above).  Oh, yes. I mustn't forget about the fingerless mitt I mentioned last week. It was another pattern I somehow screwed up. However, at least on that one I know it was me and not the pattern.  I should figure that one out soon before it ends up a UFO.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - On Thursday

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Another week and yet another storm. We just can't catch a break here in southern Manitoba. Many of the highways were closed for most of the day, which means we spent the day at home. The blowing is over now, but we are under a Extreme Cold Warning. It'll be -42C with the wind chill overnight. The good news is that after tomorrow we are going to have a huge upward swing in temperature. By next Thursday, the day time high is supposed to be 0C (-5 with the wind chill). Yay!

Anyway, I have a few finished projects to show you, but first another project from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month showed up the other day. I like the weave-like pattern on this scarf/hat combo, but I'm not wild about the style of the scarf. However, I don't have one like it, so I figured I'm make it as is.


The colours didn't show up well at all in the photo. From left to right: taupe, coral, and navy blue. At first I thought it was black and got really excited. I love black yarn. On closer inspection, though, I realized it wasn't. Boo. I guess they ran out of grey that's pictured on the pattern.  Another boo.

These next two projects finally got blocked this past week. One I finished in November; the other, I got done between Christmas and New Years. The yarn for both had come from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month, but I didn't care for either pattern and decided to make something other else out of it.  Too see the original patterns I pass on, check on my post on December 6.

The first one is the Boneyard Shawl, designed by Stephen West.  Unfortunately, this sparkly, variegated yarn doesn't do this pattern justice. It is big, cozy, and super easy to knit, though, so I guess it'll do.


Here's a close up of the "rib texture":


If you like original, funky, colourful knits, check out Westknits or Stephen West on ravelry.com.  I'll definitely be making another one of his creations.

The second one is Offhand Lace by Caitlin ffrench. It's fabulous in the neutral color (shown on ravelry.com), but I like my version, too, which uses two variegated yarns with long repeats.  Here it is:


Because the yarn is chunky and the suggested needles are quite large, it knit up in no time. I think I wore it for a straight week after it was done.

I did start one more project, Hidden Gusset fingerless mitts, in the last few weeks, but I haven't had any luck with it. The first yarn I chose was a lovely plum coloured tweedy wool, but it was breaking at the slightest tug. So I abandoned it and chose a much more sturdy sock yarn. The colours are okay, but the contrast is a bit too high. Anyway, things were going great until I sectioned off the stitches for the thumb and realized that my stitch counts were off by quite a few stitches.  Not sure what happened, but I'm going to have to start again, otherwise, the pair will never match.  

Did I mention that my local yarn store has a sale going on right now? Select yarns are 50% off, while the rest of the yarn in the entire store is 20% off. I swear some of the skeins were jumping right off the table into my basket. What was I supposed to do? Put it back? I had been eyeing some of them at full price before Christmas. There was no way I was going to leave them there unloved for even one more day.  In other news, my husband might be planning an intervention.

This week I'm going to work on the scarf/hat combo as well as figure out the fingerless mitt fiasco.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Needlework Tuesday - Christmas Mittens

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We sort of did, but since all of southern Manitoba was under a winter storm watch/warning, we decided to stay at home Christmas day and not venture into the city for our family dinner. As it turns out, the storm didn't hit until much later in the day, late evening in fact, and we could have gone and probably made it home safely before it got really bad. The thing is when you live in a rural area, you just never know what the highway conditions are going to be like. We kept hearing that conditions would be deteriorating rapidly and since we were over an hour away from our destination, we decided not to take the chance. It's bad enough to be stranded in the city, but on Christmas with everything closed. Hmmm...no thanks.

Anyway, it gave me a chance to start a new book ("The Lake House" by the ever fabulous Kate Morton) and do some more knitting.

Last week, I showed you part of a mitten I was knitting for my husband. The Heritage Mitts (link to pattern) are based on the Hudson's Bay point blanket. I finished these and I absolutely adore them. I'm kind of sorry I didn't buy a second kit for myself. My husband and I aren't matchy-matchy types, though, so it's just as well. Here they are:


The pattern offered options for putting the famous "points" on the cuffs. However, I decided I liked the mittens without them.

These were so fun and quick to knit. One thing though....I'm not that pleased that I had about 1 inch (!!!!!) of the white roving left when I finished the thumb on the second mitten. Not even enough for weaving in. I managed to tuck it in under two stitches and tie it off. I'm hoping it'll hold. My husband says he can feel the knot, but isn't bothered by it. I'm not sure what happened...I didn't even leave tails as long as the pattern suggested. So not cool!!

After those were done, I started a pair of lightning fast mittens for myself. This was another kit I picked up at my local yarn store. I started them on Christmas Eve and by Christmas day evening, I had a brand new pair of gorgeous mittens. Here they are:


Unlike the Heritage Mitts I have quite a bit of yarn left. Not enough to make anything, though. It's a shame because the yarn was quite expensive.  I know, I know, there's no pleasing me.  First there's not enough yarn left, then there's too much.  ;)

I've been itching to start another project, but haven't done so yet. I have plenty of projects I want to do and plenty of yarn to do them, I just haven't matched them up yet. I do have a few matched up, but the yarn isn't wound into balls so they'll have to wait until I get to the yarn store. Of course, I have a few UFOs laying about, but there's nothing like the thrill of starting a new project. We'll have to see what this coming week brings.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Needlework Tuesday - Shawl, Vest, and a Canadian Classic

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Believe it or not, I wrote a post last week, but it was Friday before I got back to the computer to post it. At that point, I figured I'd just skip it and post it this week. However, now the information is outdated, so here's another try. I finally finished knitting the shawl, Jette from Drops Design on ravelry.com and had time to steam block it. Here it is:


I deviated from the pattern slightly in a couple of places. For instance, that wide green stripe isn't in the pattern. I added for two reasons: 1) to use up the rest of the green yarn I had, 2) to "stretch" the pink yarn in hopes of having enough to finish the project. That plan didn't work. I seriously underestimated how much yarn I'd need to finish up and had to order another ball.

Anyway, it's done and I love it. It's large, cozy, warm, and made with (mostly) leftover yarn for just over $20. Can't ask for much more out of a shawl. Perfect for watching TV.

The other thing I worked on was Top Down Vest from Mary Maxim. I had a little trouble deciphering the pattern at first, but after that initial stumble it was easy peasy. Since the yarn is bulky it knitted up quickly. Here's the finished piece:


I'm quite pleased with the result. I was a little worried that I didn't pick the right size, but it fits me perfectly. I'd show you, but my photography helper was out today and I haven't mastered selfies. Even though I ordered the buttons that they suggested, I didn't use them. I found some others I liked better, especially after the mistake I made. No need to talk about that, though. Let's just move on, shall we?

I really like this yarn, Mary Maxim Aspen. It's 100% acrylic and it's speckled with all of these colours making it so rich looking. I used colourways, Fireside. I'd definitely use it again. Here's a close up:


After finishing the vest, I started on a pair of mittens for my husband. I don't knit much for him for a variety of reasons (see below), but when we were at the yarn store not too long ago, he spotted this kit for mittens based on the Hudson's Bay point blanket, a true Canadian classic with it's green, red, yellow and navy stripes.  This version, put together by my local yarn store, is knit with roving, which is something new to me. Also new for me is knitting mitts from a chart. I had a little trouble, but I think I managed okay. They will be good enough for my husband, who will either 1) lose one or both, 2) store them on the slushy floor of the car.    Here's a little peek at one sans thumb:



This is another one of those projects that knit up quickly.  It shouldn't be too long before we are looking for one mitt that's been lost.  Note to self:  Check the floor of the car first.

This coming week, I'm going to finish the HBC mitts and start another pair (different yarn, different pattern) for myself.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Needlework Tuesday - Snowed in

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Since we are snowed for the day (or days), I figured it was a good time to write a blog post. I had two appointments scheduled in the city today and I'm not pleased that I had to cancel them at the last moment, but what can you do when a blizzard hits and they close the highway.   It had temporarily stopped snowing and blowing in this picture, but has since picked up again.  sigh.












It's been awhile since I last posted, so I have lots to report on today. Two new projects showed up from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month and another one that I had ordered finally arrived.

The first project from the club is a Grey/White/Silver poncho.


I debated long and hard over this one and waffled back and forth as to whether or not I wanted to make this item. On one hand, I don't really like the style.  The holes are HUGE!  I can fit my hand through them.  On the other hand, though, casting off and on in the middle of a project is something new to try. And try I did. I started it twice and I got to the second row of holes before abandoning the project altogether.  Perhaps if the holes were smaller I could have lived with the results, but as is...nope. I've made something else with the yarn, but I'll leave that for another day.

The second project is a multi-coloured Saturate Entrelac Cowl.


I just received this yesterday. I won't be making it and will use the yarn for another project. I've already learned how to do entrelac on a baby blanket and while I liked doing it, I don't want to do it again...not on this project. I already have an oversized cowl that I don't wear.  It's not my thing.

The additional project I ordered is a Top Down Vest from Mary Maxim.


It's supposed to be an EASY project knitted from the top down...hence the name. I've started it and I'm already stumped...on ROW 3. I'm sure I'll figure it out, but not a great first impression.  I don't have a great photo of the yarn, but it's a really rich marbled blend of colours. Hopefully, I can show that better at a later date.

In the past few weeks, I've worked on a couple of previously started projects. The first one is a multi-coloured summer clutch.


This was another project from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month. The white edging was the only thing that was outstanding and I procrastinated on doing it because I thought it was going to be difficult. It was, but not for the reasons I thought.  I won't bore you with the details other than to say that the pattern was misleading and not very helpful.  I don't know if I'm going to use it, though. I'm going to put it away until spring and decide then.

The other project I worked on is the shawl called Jette from Drops Design on ravelry.com.


I was using up some leftover yarn from other projects, but had run out of one colour and had to order more.  Now, that I've received it I can continue. I don't have much left to complete, so I should be able to finish that up this week.

This coming week, I'm going to finish the shawl above as well as continue work on vest, if I can figure out the pattern.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Win Socks for Life from Yarn Canada

Recently, I was made aware of Yarn Canada's Win Socks for Life! contest. It's open to residents of both Canada and the U.S. For details and a link to enter, read on.  There's a deadline for entries, Wednesday, December 7, 2016, so read quickly.

Here's the press release from Yarn Canada:

Win Socks for Life! Well the yarn, you’re on your own after that.

(Vancouver, BC) “To be fair, it’s actually only a 25 year supply, so we can only hope the winner dies early to keep me an honest woman.” - Nikki Smith, VP YarnCanada.ca

After extensive research YarnCanada.ca discovered two key issues which continue to plague the world which we’d like to help bring to an end.
  • Some people have hobbies other than knitting (idiots) 
  • Other (marginally insane) people buy socks at Costco
With one final blow we’ll give someone years of knitting and make it so they never need to succumb to Fruit of the Loom again.” - Robert Matherson, YarnCanada.ca

Don’t want to use all the yarn to make socks? That’s okay, no hard feelings.

Yes, some marriages may end as the winner ignores her husband in a multi-year knitting frenzy. But that’s simply a risk we must take. On the other hand, maybe getting non-terrible socks for Christmas could bring families closer together.

The prize will go to whomever can show how their life will most be changed by winning and what you will do with the prize.

Anything could happen:

I’ll use the yarn to start a knitting business on Etsy!” - Beth C, Winnipeg

My friends always get together to watch The Bachelor, but goodness it’s boring, now I’ll have something to do to keep me distracted.” - Janet G, Toronto

Honestly I have no self control. With all that yarn I’ll knit non-stop, stay up for days and miss work. I’ll get fired, not be able to pay rent and get kicked out of my apartment. But… I’d have so many socks!” - Samantha T, Vancouver

I’ll knit them all up as fast as I can and give them to charity.” – Nicole

Whatever the reason, let us know why knitting is important to you and how a lifetime supply of sock yarn would change your life.

Look here read more about the contest and to enter: Enter to Win a Lifetime Supply of Socks.

Of course, I've already entered. Did you see all of the yarn?



Here's what I said:

"Socks for life? If I were to win, I'd probably kiss the delivery man and then have a smile on my face for weeks delighting in all of that yarn. It would be like heaven!! Seriously, I knit every day, but can't imagine I'd be able to use it all in my lifetime. Perhaps, I'd share a few skeins with friends or maybe donate some to a school or senior centre."

Since learning of the contest, I've been surfing the web looking for projects that I'm going to make when I win. I'll probably make a few pairs of socks, of course, but I'm also eyeing a scarf, a shawl (surprise, surprise!!) as well as some fingerless mitts, and a hat. Sock yarn is so versatile that the sky's the limit when it comes to projects.

So, what will you make if you win? Need ideas? Check out ravelry.

How can you resist?


Really? You're still here? You are probably wondering how to sign up for their newsletter, right? That's easy, go to Yarn Canada's website. Now you are wondering is Yarn Canada is on social media? Yep, they're there, too: Yarn Canada on Facebook and Instagram.

In case you missed the link to enter the contest, here it is again: Enter to Win a Lifetime Supply of Socks.

That's all I got.  Go enter the contest. Or better yet, don't! All of that yarn is mine! Mine, I tell you! Mine!!!  :)   You'll have to excuse me now.  I have to go put on a little lipstick for when the delivery guy gets here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Needlework Tuesday - On Wednesday - Knitting and Blocking

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

This week I worked on a couple of projects.

Last week, I had started another baby hat to use up the remaining yarn from the stuffed Rabbit project. If you remember, I also made a small baby blanket and a hat for a 12-month old. This new hat is supposed to be for a toddler. However, I think it might be a wee bit short, but only by a few rows. I was running out of yarn and may have stretched it a little to get to the desired length before starting the decrease rows for the crown on the hat. I think it'll be okay, though. I like the orange stripe. Here it is:


Anyway, I have about 5 yards of the yarn leftover. Probably just enough to make a pompom tail for the rabbit, which I totally forgot about.

I'm also blocking a shawl I made months ago. It's the first one, Waiting for Rain, in this post. I haven't done a lot of blocking, but a fellow knitter/salesperson at my local yarn store suggested blocking wires.


It looks a bit wonky, but it's the best I could do. It took quite awhile to get the wires threaded and the shawl pinned down. I measured it several times in an attempt to get the sides somewhat symmetrical. I'd measure, move the pins, measure, move the pins, measure....repeat several more times. It wasn't that much fun and being down on the floor for that long hurt my back and hip. I finally said good enough and left it. My main goal was to open up the lace and have it lie flat. I'll let you know how it works out once it's dry.

As for the wires, I've used them a few times now and they seem to be working out. (I consulted Google on how to use them). However, since I haven't done a lot of blocking, I'm not sure. Have you used blocking wires?

And lastly,  I started another shawl called Jette from Drops Design, a free pattern on ravelry.com. This particular version caught my eye. It's beautiful AND uses yarn that I already have leftover from other projects.

A word about the colour: It's medium green and dark rose.  I would have definitely picked different colours had I not been determined to use up some of the yarn in my stash. I had limited options and this was the best colour combination I could come up with.  All week I've been telling myself to think "rose garden" rather than "Christmas".

Here's what I have so far:


It's an asymmetrical shawl that's essentially knit in two parts. After knitting this part, stitches are picked up along the edge with the stitch markers and it's continued from there. My shaping is backwards because of the whole old left-handed, right-handed thing, but I'm hoping it's going to work out regardless.

This week I'm going to continue to work on this shawl. Also, another project from Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month should be showing up any day, so I'll probably take a look at that.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.